Events

Upcoming

Navigating Complexity:
Going Beyond Systems Thinking
Vancouver BC

2017 April 25

Sponsored by: APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC)

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 Engineers are accustomed to applying Systems Thinking as the approach to resolve problems. Educated to be competent reductionists, we can take apart a broken thing, find the cause, fix it, and then re-assemble so that it works once again. We’ve been trained to see a business as process, technology, and people components that can be put together like a jigsaw puzzle to create an orderly system.

Seminar Description

Industries such as aviation, energy, retail, government, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and construction to name a few are complex adaptive systems (CAS). Evidence is mounting that Systems Thinking if inappropriately applied in a CAS can lead to unintended negative consequences and project failure.

A more complete view of the non-linear real world recognizes wicked problems that linger in a CAS and can sink a project. Resolution means going beyond reductionism and evolving to paradigms based on complexity and cognitive sciences.

One pragmatic way to make sense of CAS behaviour is the Cynefin Framework. When dealing with uncertainties, confusion, and unpredictability, resilient methods and tools are preferred over command and control techniques.

The session provides an introduction to complexity science and the Cynefin Framework. Also covered is how planning, strategy development, and project management demand a different perspective when facing complexity.

The key take-way is appreciating why you cannot manage, simplify, nor control complexity; you must absorb and navigate through it.

Objectives

After the session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand why naturalistic strategic planning makes more sense than creating an idealistic future state in a complex adaptive system.
  • Explain why in a non-linear world major catastrophes called Black Swans will happen more frequently.
  • Know when predicting the future is worthwhile and when it can be a waste of time.
  • Decide when to deploy and not to deploy best practices, a business case, metrics.
  • Describe why gathering project data using stories is better than traditional surveys and interviews.
  • Deal with unknowables and unimaginables that emerge on projects including serendipitous opportunities.

Course Outline

Introduction to Complexity
  • Complexity science, complex adaptive systems, Cynefin Framework Cynefin Applications and Implications.
  • Planning (situate idealistic, naturalistic approach).
  • Decision Making (situate business case, value proposition, DA cf. AHP).
  • Project Management (situate PMI’s PMBOK, Navigating Complexity practical guide).
Execution
  • Use of Narrative (stories) cf. traditional surveys, interviews.
  • Safe-to-fail experimentation.
Summary
  • Stop, challenge, choose.

Target Audience

Engineering professionals and associates involved in the planning and delivering of projects and programs.

Delivered

Navigating Complexity:
Implementing Change in Unpredictable Times
Vancouver BC

2017 January 24

Sponsored by: APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC)

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This session will emphasize implementing change is to make sense and influence the evolutionary potential of the Present rather than invest in a Future that one faithfully hopes will materialize. A typical change management project has a starting and an ending point. The evolutionary approach is ongoing and focuses on building sustainability and resilience.
Seminar Description
There are many change models available in the marketplace. The spectrum stretches from the academically researched to experiential “best practices” brands. Some share a common scientific management view of an organization as a machine and its people as components. Many adhere to a linear staged-process: evaluate readiness, design strategy, develop plan, execute plan, close. The common beliefs are that idealistic future goals and objectives can be defined, gaps closed by introducing technology and adjusting worker behaviour, and metrics can drive performance. The future can be reasonably and rationally predicted.

But what if the change outcome you desire faces complexity in terms of confusion, ambiguity, volatility, uncertainty? Deploying an inappropriate change method can lead to the emergence of unintended negative consequences and increase the likelihood of change initiative failure.

This offering is the second in an APEGBC complexity science series. The key take-way in the first session is appreciating why you cannot manage, simplify, nor control complexity; you must absorb and navigate through it.

The prime message in this session on implementing change is to make sense and influence the evolutionary potential of the present rather than invest in a future that one faithfully hopes will materialize. A typical change management project has a starting and an ending point. The evolutionary approach is ongoing and focuses on building sustainability and resilience.
Learning Objectives
After the session, participants will be able to:
Understand why different thinking is required in a complex adaptive system.
Determine what appropriate change strategy to develop.
Learn how to use 3 tools: Narrative Inquiry, Data Visualization and Safe-to-Fail Experiments.

Course Outline:
Why:
The 21st century is different
Age of cognitive complexity, complex adaptive systems.
What:
Evlolving the change practice.
Change management vs. change leadership.
Diagnostic categorization vs. dialogic sense-making.
Waterfall vs. agile planning.
Inductive business case vs. abductive value proposition.
Organizational hierarchy vs. CAS networks.
Disruptive transformation vs. coherent evolution.
How:
Managing the change process.
Cynefin Framework.
Narrative (stories) cf. traditional surveys, interviews.
Visualizing patterns in stories.
Safe-to-fail experimentation.
Heuristics as simple rules to deal with complex situations.

Target Audience
Engineering professionals and associates involved in implementing change or being impacted by a change initiative. No prerequisite required as a basic introduction to complexity science and the Cynefin framework is included.

Recommended: The “Navigating Complexity: Going Beyond Systems Thinking” course provides in-depth discussions on systems thinking vs. complexity thinking, reductionism vs. holism, robustness vs. resilience, knowledge vs. ignorance.

 

Navigating Complexity:
Going Beyond Systems Thinking
Vancouver BC

2016 September 20

Sponsored by: APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC)

APEGBC 16SepNCZ

Navigating Complexity:
Going Beyond Systems Thinking
Vancouver BC

2016 February 16

Sponsored by: APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC)

2016 APEGBC Complexity

 EIT Complexity Thinking Workshop
2015 December
 1 & 2 

BCH EIT Agenda

 

What will be your personal legacy?
1. Jump onboard now and start navigating complexity?
2. Procrastinate now and try to catch up later?
3. Crash and burn by carrying on with the status quo?
Personal Legacy

Post-workshop photos

Storytelling
Storytelling

 

 

 

 

Sense-making
Sense-making

 

 

 

 

 

Cynefin Framework Mapping
Cynefin Framework Mapping

 

 

 

 

Complexity decision-making (535 exercise)
535 exercise

 If you would like to arrange a private workshop, contact Gary at GaryWong@gswong.com (604-219-9690).


 

Navigating Complexity:
Going Beyond Systems Thinking
Vancouver BC

2015 January 15

Sponsored by: APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC)

Time: 8:30 AM-9:00 AM: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM-4:30 PM: Navigating Complexity: Going Beyond Systems Thinking
Location: Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Gary Wong, P.Eng., MBA

 

 If you would like to arrange a private workshop, contact Gary at GaryWong@gswong.com (604-219-9690).


 

CLRSC Auckland NZ
2014 June 26-17, June 30-July 01

Cynefin, Resilience, & Safety – Auckland, NZ

More and more organisations are seeking to understand how to influence culture and emergent human behaviour patterns in support of safety programs. Cognitive Edge, together with local partners and other experts in the field, is delivering course offerings in this growing area of interest.

Come and learn how measuring attitudes to safety provides lead rather than lag indicators of risk, the use of ritual and heuristics shifts cultures, and continuous lessons learning with narrative provides deeper insights into what is currently working well and what is at risk. Join us at one of the following events to learn more:

Creating and Leading a Resilient Safety Culture: 2-day course

Post-workshop photos

Safety Solutions      Making sense of stories


Complexity Seminar  Westport, NZ
2014 June 24

BEL Complexity Seminar


EIT Complexity Thinking Workshop
2014 
June 3 & 4 

We’ve all seen how a newspaper headline, Twitter comment, YouTube video can go viral within minutes of being published. We’ve also experienced how more and more citizen pressure can quickly lead to a riot and if a new leader emerges, even overturn a government. A tipping point is reached and the existing system goes into temporary chaos. Things eventually settle down as people adapt and a new stable state replaces the old one. This is a phenomenon of Complexity.

Electric utilities like aviation, communication, transportation, healthcare are complex adaptive systems (CAS). We’ve passed the tipping point when BC Hydro could design, build, and operate G, T, & D with little interference. As the next generation of engineers, we need to understand why strategy and execution is different in a CAS and how to deal with unknowables and unimaginables. As an example, no one anticipated a smart meter opt-out program yet we have one.

The course instructor is Gary Wong. In his 27 years at BC Hydro, he helped Hydro employees break away from old paradigms that once worked well but were no longer sufficient.  This training will open both our eyes and minds as young engineers in raising situational awareness.

Post-workshop photos

BCH EITs

BCH EITs

BCH EITs

 

BCH EITs

 


CEATI DALCM Conference
2014 March 26

CEATI DALCM agenda

Post-conference handouts
Presentation summary
Extract – electric utility safety


CLRSC Calgary
2013 December 09-10

CLRSC 2013 Calgary

Post-workshop photos  

Calgary CLRSCCalgary Cynefin

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